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Now A Certified Residential Specialist!

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Scott Lawrence has been awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors.

REALTORS who receive the CRS designation have completed advanced training and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate. Only 29,000 REALTORS nationwide have earned the credential.

Home buyers and sellers can be assured that CRS designees subscribe to the strict REALTOR code of ethics, have been trained to use the latest tactics and technologies, and are specialists in helping clients maximize profits and minimize costs when buying or selling a home.

Now An Accredited Buyer’s Representative!

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Scott Lawrence has been awarded the Accredited Buyer’s Representation (ABR) designation by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Scott joins less than 3% of  real estate professionals in North America who have earned the ABR designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer representation specialty, both in addition to submitting documentation verifying professional experience.

REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer.

For more on the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council visit the REBAC website.

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Vote Yes For Prop 1!

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Vote YES Prop 1
“Proposition 1 does four things. First, it lowers property taxes by increasing the homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000. Second, it ensures senior Texans and disabled Texans get as much tax relief as possible. Third, it prohibits local governments from repealing or reducing any homestead exemption that may exist. And finally, it ensures real estate transactions will never be subject to a tax.”
Learn more on Prop 1 here and don’t forget get out and vote!!!  
Head to the polls November 3rd or vote early from October 19-30th! 

ABOR’s Press Release for August Statistics

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Austin-area home prices set August record, outpace household income growth in August 2015

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases real estate statistics for August 2015

AUSTIN, Texas – September 22, 2015 – According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR), Austin-area single-family home sales remained high in August, increasing eight percent to 2,943 home sales compared to August 2014. Austin-area single-family median home prices, for both sales and leasing, set a record for the month of August. Median home sales prices increased by eight percent year-over-year to $265,000, while median home lease payments increased by seven percent to $1,600.

Barb Cooper, 2015 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS¬®, explained, “As Austin REALTORS®, we’ve seen our city expand in ways we never could have imagined, but household incomes have not been expanding at the same rate as the cost of living in Austin. We will continue working with our city’s leaders to find a solution to the complex affordability issues, with the end of goal of providing affordable and diverse housing stock for our growing population that aligns with the actual incomes of Central Texas residents.”

Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that approximately 65 percent of Austin-area professionals made less than $50,000 in 2014. Additionally, the City of Austin’s 2014 Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis cited that affordable housing costs should be less than 30 percent of gross monthly income.

That means for residents making $50,000 per year, a mortgage payment translates to $1,250 per month and would fall in a home sales price range of $200,000–$215,000. To compare, the August 2015 median home price was $265,000 and the median lease payment in Central Texas was $1,600.

Simultaneously, median home prices continue to rise and have increased by more than 30 percent from August 2010 to August 2015, a $65,000 difference over the last five years.

Average home price increased six percent compared to August 2014 to $329,620. Total dollar volume continued to rise year-over-year to $970,071,660, increasing by 15 percent.

Monthly housing inventory decreased by 0.1 months compared to August 2014, remaining flat at 2.9 months. This number is still well below the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University’s balanced housing inventory level of 6.5 months.

New listings increased two percent to 3,364 listings and active listings increased by four percent year-over-year to 6,979 listings. In addition, pending sales increased 11 percent to 2,686 single-family home sales. Homes remained on the market for 42 days in August 2015, the same length of time as in August 2014.

Cooper concluded, “This new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides further evidence of the affordability issue in Central Texas. The growing disparity between rising home prices and what Austin residents can afford, combined with low inventory levels, will continue to drive residents outside of Austin’s city limits to buy a home, putting further strain on our region’s infrastructure and resources.”

August 2015 Statistics

    • 2943 – Single-family homes sold, eight percent more than August 2014.

 

    • $265,000 – Median price for single-family homes, eight percent more than August 2014.

 

    • $329,620 – Average price for single-family homes, six percent more than August 2014.

 

    • 42 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, unchanged from August 2014.

 

    • 3,364 – New single-family home listings on the market, two percent more than August 2014.

 

    • 6,979 – Active single-family home listings on the market, four percent more than August 2014.

 

    • 2,686 – Pending sales for single-family homes, 11 percent more than August 2014.

 

    • 2.9 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, 0.1 months less than August 2014.

 

  • $970,071,660 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 15 percent more than August 2014.

The following sections describe trends in other sectors of the Austin-area real estate market.

Townhouses & Condominiums

The volume of townhouses and condominiums (condos) purchased in the Austin area in August 2015 was 305, a one percent increase from August 2014. The median price for condos was $225,500, which is five percent more than the same month of the prior year. These properties spent 37 days on market, or three more days than August 2014.

 

Leasing

In August 2015, a total of 2,080 properties were leased in Austin, which is three percent more than August 2014. Properties spent an average of 36 days on the market, or four fewer days than in August 2014. Active property listings increased by eight percent compared to August 2014, reaching 1,986.

Flood Preparedness Week 2015

September is National Preparedness Month and week one is dedicated to flood prep. Check out some of the facts on this graphic from Ready.gov.

And it’s not just the flash flooding from fickle Central Texas rains to watch out for. The fact check below highlights new construction as a potential cause of flooding and yes, we still have tons of new construction all over the Austin Metro Area.

Check it out and join our efforts to get prepared, just in case, now!

ABOR’s Press Release for July Housing Stats

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Austin-area home sales hit all-time high, inventory levels rising in July 2015

Austin Board of REALTORS® releases real estate statistics for July 2015

 

AUSTIN, Texas – August 20, 2015 – According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report released today by the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR), Austin-area home sales hit an all-time high, increasing 12 percent year-over-year to 3,149 sales for the month of July.

Barb Cooper, 2015 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS¬®, explained, “We’re in the midst of one of the most active summer selling seasons to-date, with more single-family home sales than ever before. Home prices remain high, but inventory levels have increased steadily throughout 2015, perhaps taking a step toward a more balanced housing market.”

According to the report, the median price for Austin-area single-family homes increased eight percent year-over-year to $269,500 in July 2015, while average price increased six percent to $338,452 during the same time frame.

In July 2015, less than 30 percent of single-family homes sold in Central Texas were priced below $200,000, outside of an affordable range for many Austin-area homebuyers. The majority of pending sales and active listings fall outside of Austin’s city limits in surrounding areas like Cedar Park, Leander, Hays County, Round Rock and Pflugerville, showing that Central Texas residents are continuing to prioritize affordability.

Once again, total dollar volume topped $1 billion, reaching $1,065,785,348 and increasing 19 percent compared to July 2014.

New listings increased nine percent to 4,133 listings and active listings increased by five percent year-over-year to 7,174 listings, driving inventory levels up to three months for the first time since July 2014. However, Austin-area housing inventory is still well below the 6.5 month level, which the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites as a balanced market.

Pending sales rose eight percent year-over-year to 2,873 listings and homes remained on the market for an average of 41 days, or two days more than July 2014.

Cooper concluded, “Mayor Adler recently called for 100,000 new housing units to be built by 2025 as a first step to untangling the city of Austin’s complicated permit review process and alleviating affordability issues in Austin. The Austin Board of REALTORS® sees this initiative as progress toward a more sustainable Central Texas housing market and will continue to work with city leaders to make Austin an affordable place to call home for all residents.”

July 2015 Statistics

    • 3,149 – Single-family homes sold, 12 percent more than July 2014.

 

    • $269,500 – Median price for single-family homes, eight percent more than July 2014.

 

    • $338,452 – Average price for single-family homes, six percent more than July 2014.

 

    • 41 – Average number of days single-family homes spent on the market, two days more than July 2014.

 

    • 4,133 – New single-family home listings on the market, nine percent more than July 2014.

 

    • 7,174 – Active single-family home listings on the market, five percent more than July 2014.

 

    • 2,873 – Pending sales for single-family homes, eight percent more than July 2014.

 

    • 3.0 – Months of inventory* of single-family homes, unchanged compared to July 2014.

 

  • $1,065,785,348 – Total dollar volume of single-family properties sold, 19 percent more than July 2014.

The following sections describe trends in other sectors of the Austin-area real estate market.

Townhouses & Condominiums

The volume of townhouses and condominiums (condos) purchased in the Austin area in July 2015 was 317, a four percent decrease from July 2014. The median price for condos was $224,850, which is 10 percent more than the same month of the prior year. When compared to July 2014, these properties spent 42 days on market, or five more days than July 2014.

 

Leasing

In July 2015, a total of 2,187 properties were leased in Austin, which is nine percent more than July 2014. The median price for Austin-area home leases was $1,550, three percent higher than in July 2014.

The Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) builds connections through the use of technology, education and advocacy to strengthen the careers of its 11,000 members and improve the lives of Central Texas families. We empower Austin REALTORS® to connect their clients to the region’s most complete, accurate and up-to-date listings data. For more, contact the ABoR Department of Public Affairs at

marketing@abor.com or 512-454-7636. For the latest local housing market listings, visit AustinHomeSearch.com
* The inventory of homes for a market can be measured in months, which is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced.

It’s Not Central Texas, But It Is My Home Town!

My home town made Money magazine’s Best Places To Live 2015! Ranking in at number 8, up from 2013’s ranking of 32, “Coppell has the benefits of Southern hospitality with a cosmopolitan flair.” — Veronica Crews 

While I highly encourage you to stay here in the Austin metro area, if you head northbound, give little ole Coppell a try! And though we no longer sell homes in the DFW metroplex, we have a handful of very close friends who are ready to assist if you do!

Click Here For more on Money magazine’s “America’s Best Places To Live 2015

Courtesy of the City of Coppell for Money Magazine

                    Courtesy of the City of Coppell for Money Magazine

 

Independence Day Fireworks In Central Texas

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May Is National Moving Month

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Hard to believe but it’s already May which means it’s National Moving Month! May marks the beginning of the peak sales season for real estate where we’ll see nearly 50% of 2015’s housing transactions take place. If the reported number of homes going pending in April holds true, we’ll see a 10-year high in closed units during May; a record we may break several times this summer as interest rates remain below 4%.

More than half of our May 2015 home sellers built their plan with us a year ago.  Whether you are ready to make a move this summer or are considering one for next year, we should meet now and build the plan together!

May is National Barbecue Month!

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May is National Barbecue Month; though I suppose every month is BBQ month here in Central Texas!  From the brisket explosion over the past few years that cemented Austin’s place on the BBQ map and helped win Aaron Franklin a James Beard award to the regulations the Austin City Council are working to place on meat smokers, it’s clear Central Texans are passionated about smoked meat goodness.  To me, Austin is the center of the BBQ universe and we’ll be celebrating all month long both at the amazing local establishments and of course at home. If you are looking for recommendations on one of the newer establishments or maybe some grilling ideas let me know! I promise not to “steer” you wrong. After all, I’m a certified BBQ judge. I have a badge and all!